Wix site

Here’s a link to my new Wix site I created for my lesson:


Check it out and tell me what you think!


Digital Authoring

Here is a link to a really great article on digital authoring from NAfME and the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. The article gives some great insight on how to use an iPad in a music classroom in ways that I would never have thought of!

Two ways you can use an iPad in a music classroom:

1. A scrolling image with music is a great way to watch a score go by with music, or to have the class play along with an accompaniment track.

2. Use GarageBand to create an ostinato. Students can use their classroom instruments to improvise or play a melody by rote over a teacher-created accompaniment.

Hope this gives you some classroom ideas!

Looping in the Classroom

A really cool looping app was featured on Jimmy Fallon the other day, and it got me thinking about how to use this app, or other software like this, in a music classroom. Here are some ideas:

1. Let the students create a thick rhythmic texture using the software. Teach them about how to make certain rhythms work with other rhythms

2. For a small music class, have the students all play a certain ostinato or rhythmic figure on their classroom instruments, guitars, etc., then have them play the melody together over the loop

3. A great tool for teaching improvisation! Have the students create a loop, or create one yourself, that they can learn to improvise over (this can be on an instrument, or just singing!)


Those are just a few ideas for how to use looping technology in a music classroom


Also, here is a link to my lesson 3 (always in development):  https://w.taskstream.com/Lesson/View/0768E92F0CC4A27188C53B95EF6AF088


Here are some links I found to content relating to my final project.

http://stevenbryant.com/electronic.php – This is a link to Steven Bryant’s other electronic music. This might be valuable in teaching about how Steven Bryant writes his electronics parts

http://www.stevenbryant.com/blog/?p=1085 – Link to Steven Bryant’s blog post about the new iPhone/Android app for “The Machine Awakes”! The electronics on this piece are so easy to use that it is possible for a band director to cue the electronics themselves

http://www.stevenbryant.com/blog/?p=561 – Another of Steven Bryant’s blog posts, this one about his newest electronic work “Solace”. This post goes into slightly more detail than his program notes

http://www.alexshapiro.org/ASWorks.html#cwb – Link to the website of another composer who has written extensively for band and electronics, as well as solo instruments and electronics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdtw4L585Ls – The first of Steven Bryant’s how-to videos for the electronics in Ecstatic Waters. From this video, you can navigate to the rest of the videos

http://youtu.be/CqYGOk7Z9zY – A video of performance of Ecstatic Waters by New Mexico State University’s Symphonic Winds

http://www.amazon.com/Augenblick-Johnston-Catherine-University-Ensemble/dp/B007X128AY/ref=tmm_other_meta_binding_title_0 – Here’s an album (on Amazon) of the Cornell University Wind Ensemble playing pieces for Band and electronics. These pieces are somewhat underplayed (generally) but can still make for interesting listening outside of Bryant’s music

And finally, here’s a link to what I have so far in my unit. It’s still in progress, but I hope you like it so far!


Final Project: Three Pieces for Band and Electronics by Steven Bryant

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The topic I’ve chosen for my final project is a three-lesson unit on pieces for wind band and electronics by contemporary composer Steven Bryant. The unit would cover what are currently Steven Bryant’s only three pieces for band and electronics: “Ecstatic Waters”, “Solace” and “The Machine Awakes”. Each lesson would cover that particular piece’s conception, instrumentation (both analog and digital), form and other musical elements, as well as each piece’s popularity and importance.

I believe that this unit would help educate my students by introducing very unique music that was written all within the last 5 years. These pieces demonstrate how cultural idioms can be integrated into “classical” music not just in an academic sense, but to be fun to play and listen to. Also, Steven Bryant comes from Arkansas, which could make this lesson part of a greater unit on composers (or other artists) from Arkansas.

The link to the TaskStream unit is here (work in progress)

Final Project Ideas

Here are a few ideas I thought of for my final project in MusicTech. All of them are based on band music, which is, frankly, my bread and butter.

1. Compare and contrast pieces for band and electronics by Steven Bryant (Ecstatic Waters, Solace, and The Machine Awakes)

2. Explore three pieces for band that were written for historical events (“The Leaves are Falling” by Warren Benson, “In Wartime” by David delTredici, “Music for Prague 1968” by Karel Husa)

3. Compare Percy Grainger’s band settings of folk-tunes from different cultures (Green Bushes, Molly on the Shore, and Spoon River)

Experimenting with Noteflight

I just created a Noteflight account (you can visit Noteflight here) and wrote a short little piece to test out the capabilities of Noteflight. This is a great program for entry-level music composition because it’s not quite as powerful as Finale or Sibelius (and, thus, easier to use) and it’s FREE! Here’s a screenshot of my piece:


And here is a link to listen to my piece. Enjoy!